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April 1, 2022 7:34 am

Israel and UAE Finalize ‘Milestone’ Free Trade Deal

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Containers carrying goods from the United Arab Emirates, which entered Israel on an MSC cargo ship, are unloaded with a cargo crane bearing Israeli and Emirati flags at Haifa’s port, northern Israel October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement, Israel‘s Economy Ministry and the UAE foreign trade minister said on Friday after formally establishing ties in 2020.

The UAE and Israel have between $600 million and $700 million in bilateral trade, UAE’s economy minister Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri said in September.

The UAE and Israel formally established relations in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords that also included Bahrain and Morocco.

The latest agreement included 95% of traded products, which would be customs free, immediately or gradually, including food, agriculture and cosmetic products, as well as medical equipment and medicine, the Israeli Economy Ministry said in a statement.

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The agreement included regulation, customs, services, government procurement and electronic trade and would come into effect when signed by the countries’ economy ministers and ratified, the statement said, though no timetable was given.

A separate UAE statement said the agreement would substantially reduce or remove tariffs on a wide range of goods, enhance market access for services and promote investment flows.

It would also create mechanisms for small-and-medium enterprises’ expansion.

“This milestone deal will build on the historic Abraham Accords and cement one of the world’s most important and promising emerging trading relationships,” United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi said on Twitter.

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